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After year off, Gardens of the Hills tour is back

Popular El Dorado Hills event returns June 5 and 6

Garden scene with white daisies, purple flowers, shrubs and lawn
The Gardens of the Hills tour will feature six showstopper gardens in El Dorado Hills. Proceeds benefit homeless and disadvantaged children in the county. (Photos courtesy Assistance League - Sierra Foothills)

Tickets are now on sale for a popular tour, raising money for a good cause while also showcasing some gorgeous gardens.

Presented by the Assistance League – Sierra Foothills, Gardens of the Hills returns after a year hiatus due to COVID. Proceeds go toward helping homeless and disadvantaged children in El Dorado County.

On June 5 and 6, six spectacular private gardens in the El Dorado Hills area will be open for tours.

What makes this event so special are all the extras set in those beautiful landscapes. Besides flowers, this garden tour is packed with fun.

The tour stops will include pop-up boutiques, wine tasting, food trucks, family fun and the event’s signature raffle. Find “Nutmeg the Squirrel” at each stop for entry in a special raffle.

Each stop also features special surprises. During the 2019 tour, that included a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party attended by Alice and her Wonderland friends.

New this year, the league will host an online “Gardens of Smiles” auction, featuring donated items to further help this effort. The auction is open June 1-7; find it at .

Tour hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 6.

Tickets are $30; $10 for children age 12 and younger. They’re available at several locations, including Green Acres Nursery & Supply in Folsom, California Welcome Center and Pottery World in El Dorado Hills, Ace Hardware in Cameron Park and El Dorado Nursery in Shingle Springs.

Or order them online at .

Tea party characters
At the 2019 tour, the Mad Hatter and other Wonderland friends
popped in.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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